Prophet & The Cowboys of Apocalypse: The Edge

Title: The Edge

Basics: The eight-song cowboyfied debut from metal man Prophet celebrates all things Arizona while also featuring songs written with some substance -- a rarity in this YAFI game. Prophet (who leads a band called St. Madness that was ripped by Martin Cizmar in YAFI nearly a year ago, to the day) to has had his fair share of struggles in this life, and The Edge features heavy lyrics, meaningful songs and a good ol' country badass appeal -- thanks in large part to Prophet's singing style, best described as a blending of Ozzy Osbourne with some of Queensryche's Geoff Tate for good measure.

Best Song: "The Edge" was written while Prophet was going through an insanely rough patch in his life. He describes his mindset as being "like I was standing on a cliff between Heaven and Hell. I wasn't sure anymore whether to try to elevate myself upwards towards the angels or to just jump in the flames below." Prophet is able to articulate his feelings and produce a demure, sombre piece of music -- one that has actual substance to it.

Worst Song: "BBQ-U" has the unenviable task of following the intense "The Edge." The mood of the album is pretty sombre, and "BBQ-U" throws a total wrench in the cohesiveness of The Edge. I know Prophet looks up to such musicians as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, but this song has hokiness coming out of every hole. If Benny Hill ever recorded a song about barbecue, this would be it.

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Suggestions: It would be stupid for me to suggest Prophet lighten up a bit, given what he's been through in this life -- battling with cancer while having his mother diagnosed with ALS. The tone of The Edge is dark, but Prophet's a pretty dark dude. He writes what he knows about, and goddammit, he's seen some shit in his life. I applaud Prophet for hanging it all out there and being unabashedly open about his struggles. Writing something of such substance -- with such a heavy weight to it -- can't be an easy thing, but Prophet's talent as a singer helps him convey his meaning to his audience. He knows there are others out there who have struggled like he has, and "The Edge," in particular, is his way of saying "it will be okay, you can prevail."

My hat's off to you, Prophet.

Grade: B-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032

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